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Kanye West

Image by Napalm filled tires via Flickr


SEATTLE, March 31, 2009 — lets people who
don’t understand rap music submit confusing terms (parts of
lyrics) used in rap songs for other people to explain.

For example, the term “thought I was burnt up like Pepsi did
Michael” from a Kanye West song is explained: “Kanye is
comparing the fearful, worried reactions people had after
finding out he was in a car accident to the reactions people
had when finding out Michael Jackson‘s hair caught fire on
the set of a Pepsi commercial he was filming in the early

Another example: “I’m comin’ with a gun like a Nintendo” is
a Term from a Lil Wayne song. An explanation is that “Lil
Wayne is bringing a gun with him wherever he’s going, just
like the Nintendo Entertainment System came with a zapper
gun to play the video game Duck Hunt.”
Not limited to slang, the terms may be comprised of cultural
and historical references or may contain metaphors or other
literary devices. At Understand Rap, terms can be found by
going to a specific artist, or by browsing by category to
find terms that have to do with cars, money, fashion,
sports, people, events, drugs, places, food, crime, culture,
and sex.

Recently launched, Understand Rap has been featured on USA
Today’s Pop Candy blog,,,
Loyola University’s Phoenix Newspaper, a Pittsburgh
television Channel 4 video blog, DaveFM (a Toronto-area
radio station), and numerous blogs. The site is also being
heavily discussed on Twitter and has been receiving a lot of
positive buzz on Facebook.

The demographic for this site is extremely wide as it
provides definite educational (as well as possible comedic)
value to the large number of people around the world that do
not understand rap lyrics, even though rap music is one of
the fastest growing genres in the United States.




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